Saturday, December 16, 2017

Now on Amazon Prime: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017) - Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino; Starring Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Michael Zegen, Marin Hinkle, Tony Shaloub, Kevin Pollak, Luke Kirby.

By Kenny Howell

Amy Sherman-Palladino has a particular style, and she needs the right actors to pull it off.

It's why Gilmore Girls is still watched incessantly by nearly every woman in the US of A, because her writing, which has a screwball comedy esque feel to it, was handled so well by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. Sherman-Palladino is very witty and knows the pace her shows need, and she needs the right people to run with it.

And man has she found the right one in Rachel Brosnahan.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Now on Netflix: Broadchurch, Season 3 (2017)

Broadchurch, Season 3 (2017) - Created by Chris Chibnall; Starring David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan.

By Kenny Howell

Season 1 of Broadchurch was such a big success, it was an inevitable that season 2 was going to be a bit of a letdown.

I thought season 2 was pretty entertaining, but it was a big shift in style. Season 1 was a straight forward, well-executed, whodunnit, but season 2 was the result of that case. There was still a mystery element to it, but the bulk of it was the court case and the effect on the people involved.

Season 3 is back to how it started. It is a straight detective mystery. In it, we meet a woman who has just been raped, Trish, and the reunited partners of Hardy (Tennant) and Miller (Colman) trying to start putting the pieces together. It happened outside a huge birthday party. There were numerous guests, lots of alcohol, and Trish walked out for a smoke. She was raped out in a field, and has no idea who did it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Now on Netflix: Mindhunter, Season 1 (2017)

Mindhunter, Season 1 (2017) - Created by Joe Penhall; Starring Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv, Hannah Gross, Joe Tuttle, Cameron Britton.

By Kenny Howell

Mindhunter was one of those shows that over the last two months I thought to myself, I need to watch that.

It was partially directed by David Fincher (Gone Girl), who I think is great, and it is about serial killers. Fincher made Zodiac, maybe my favorite modern serial killer movie. There are also other great directors attached to it like Tobias Lindholm (A War) and Asif Kapadia (Amy).

But I didn't watch it. There was other stuff to get to since every time I get on Netflix it says we have added 67 new shows you might like in the last 10 minutes.

But about a week ago I started watching. And now I am done. I could have watched it in a day if I didn't have other responsibilities like taking care of my children. It has a little trouble figuring out exactly what it is, but even though all of that, it is fantastic.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Now on Hulu: Baskets, Season 2 (2017)

Baskets, Season 2 (2017) - Created by Louis C.K., Zach Galifianakis, Jonathan Krisel; Starring Zach Galifianakis, Martha Kelly, Louie Anderson.

By Kenny Howell

The challenge for Baskets in the first two seasons is to make a show about depression funny.

That is, at its core, is what it is all about. All these people are depressed, wishing they were somewhere else, wishing things would have turned out differently.

The way they get you past that is pretty interesting. By letting two very funny people with a unique voice, Zach Galifianakis (Keeping Up with the Joneses) and Martha Kelly (Spider-Man: Homecoming), be funny, and get one of the best TV performances in recent memory, Louie Anderson as Galifianakis' twin brothers' mom.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Movie Review: Logan Lucky (2017)

Logan Lucky (2017) - Directed by Steven Soderbergh; Written by Rebecca Blunt; Starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Seth MacFarlane, Hilary Swank, Katherine Waterston, Dwight Yoakam.

By Kenny Howell

After being noticed as one of the most inventive, talented directors in films, Steven Soderbergh (Magic Mike) has spent the rest of his career trying not to reinvent the wheel.

He does still take chances and do more unique projects, but he has not shied away from genre works, which have turned into some of his more enjoyable films.

Logan Lucky is definitely one of those genre works, his return to heist films. This is a lot different from the dashing, suited men of the Ocean's series, these are hillbillies and rednecks from West Virginia and North Carolina.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Movie Review: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) - Written and Directed by Luc Besson; Starring Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Rutger Hauer.

By Kenny Howell

A wonderfully creative world is marred by two miscast leads in this return to sci-fi for Director Luc Besson.

Besson made a little sci-fi gem back in the mid 1990s, The Fifth Element, but really hasn't stepped back into true sci-fi since that time. So when this was announced, and then beautiful worlds appeared in the first trailer, anticipation was high.

And there is all that inventiveness and attempt at fun that made The Fifth Element such a blast. But the leads in the film, a very talented actor in Dane DeHaan (Kill Your Darlings), and kind of new starlet Cara Delevingne (Suicide Squad) are not Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich. DeHaan has made his career on playing troubled young men, so the leap from that to action star in a rollicking space adventure is probably not the smoothest move. And Delevingne is still fairly new to acting, and really hasn't made the full transition from successful model to an actress that can carry a film.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Now on HBO: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Season 9 (2017)

Curb Your Enthusiasm, Season 9 (2017) - Created by Larry David; Starring Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman, J.B. Smoove, Bob Einstein, Ted Danson, Lauren Graham, Elizabeth Perkins, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

By Kenny Howell

Larry David said whenever he ended Curb Your Enthusiasm, he wouldn't tell anyone because of the backlash the Seinfeld finale received.

So it was easy to believe that maybe season eight, which ended in 2011, would have been it. It did have a sense of finality to it, and there was no plan to come back.

But fast forward to 2017, and Larry is back being irritated by everything. And it could have come back feeling stale. It had been six years, and he had already had eight seasons to really run through a lot of different things. There's only so much to mine after all.